Military service is compulsory for men and women in Israel, although ultra-Orthodox men and some women can gain exemptions.
Anyone who persuades a Christian Arab in Israel not to volunteer for military service or to desert once they have joined could face prison according to a new law.
The Israeli Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee has passed a bill mandating a jail sentence for such an offence, infuriating Arab politicians in the country.
The Joint List of Arab parties, which opposes the bill passed last week, says that it had been promised that controversial legislation would not be discussed during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
But the committee debated the proposals while the Arab Knesset Members (MKs) were absent.
Military service is compulsory for men and women in Israel, although ultra-Orthodox men and some women can gain exemptions. Arab citizens, of which there are 1.3 million in Israel, are not compelled to serve but can volunteer to do so. There are around 100,000 Christian Arabs in the country.
Arab MKs argue that the law undermines debate in Arab society about whether or not Christians should join the military. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion, especially in view of the disagreement in the Christian community on joining the army,” said MK Osama Saadia (Joint List).
“The fact that they held the discussion despite the agreement not to do so is suspicious and inapropriate,” he told Haaretz.
Nirit Moskovich of the NGO Social Guard, who attended the committee’s discussion, criticised the move. “On a day when many important debates were canceled because of Id al-Fitr, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held a meeting with Jewish MKs only and unanimously approved a bill that seriously violates Arab citizens’ freedom of expression,” she said.
Under current law, anyone who persuades someone to desert during compulsory military service, or anyone who aids a deserter or gives him shelter, can be given a prison sentence of three to 15 years.
A supporter of Christian Arabs taking part in military service, Shadi Halul, criticised the Arab MKs and said that young Christians were not adequately protected from threats under current law.
“The Arab MKs write letters and incite [Christians] against joining the army,” he said. “We need this bill to protect the soldiers.”
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.